Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mighty Sparrow

Another old calypso LP on the National label from the West Indies. Made in 1966.
Excuse the jumps and scratches - I think this one has been well played in the past.

Wikipedia says -

"In 1956, Sparrow won Trinidad's Carnival Road March and Calypso Monarch competitions with his most famous song, "Jean and Dinah". His prize for the latter was $40. In protest of the small sum, he wrote the song "Carnival Boycott" and attempted to organize other singers to boycott the competition. About half of the singers followed. Sparrow claims credit for succeeding improvements in the conditions of calypso and steelband musicians in Trinidad, as well as the formation of the Carnival Development Committee, a musicians' assistance organization. Sparrow refused to participate in the competition for the next three years, but he continued to perform unofficially, even winning another Road March title in 1958 with "P.A.Y.E."

Calypso music enjoyed a brief period of popularity in other parts in the world during the 1950s. Trinidadian expatriate Lord Kitchener had helped popularize calypso in England, and Sparrow also found some success there. In the United States, interest in calypso was sparked largely by Harry Belafonte's 1956 album Calypso, the first LP to sell over one million copies. In January 1958, Sparrow, along with longtime rival Lord Melody, traveled to New York City seeking access to the American music audience. Sparrow had already been recording with Balisier and Cook Records, and with Belafonte's help he also began to record for RCA Victor. He did not achieve the success he had hoped for; he said in a 2001 interview, "When nothing happened for me, I went back to England and continued on with my career."

In 1960 Sparrow returned to the Calypso Monarch competition, winning his second Kingship and third Road March title with "Ten to One Is Murder" (an autobiographical song about an incident in which Sparrow allegedly shot a man and "Mae Mae." He also began recording for his own label, National Recording. He continued to enjoy great popularity in Trinidad throughout the 1960s."

Mighty Sparrow - Bag Ah Sugar

Mighty Sparrow - Shanty Town People

Mighty Sparrow - Going Home Tonight

Mighty Sparrow - The Rebel

Mighty Sparrow - Honesty


Paolo Meccano said...

Thanks for sharing this. The first track seems to be unavailable, unfortunately.

Paolo Meccano said...

Managed to grab it, cheers.

Timmy said...

yo yo yo! Love dis, man. Tank you.